The one thing that could change the low-pay, low-inflation dynamic, AFL-CIO's chief economist Bill Spriggs argues, is government intervention.

What he's saying: "Firms have decided, 'Why do I need to give you more than a 1 or 2% raise? The prices are running 1–2% higher, what's your problem?' The other problem we have is low inflationary expectations make it very hard to re-inflate the economy — you just can’t get out of the rut."

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Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

One side: There are strong arguments against minimum wage increases. Surveys like this one co-authored by a member of the conservative American Enterprise Institute highlight the fact that in states that raised the minimum wage by at least $1, wages for low-skilled workers fell.

The other side: After 40 years of no increase in real wages, even with cost-of-living fluctuations, Americans seem willing to take that risk. Ten states began 2019 with voter-backed minimum wage increases, joining 11 states that saw legislation to increase their minimum wage in 2018, and 12 states that raised the minimum wage through legislation the year prior.

Go deeper: All calm on the wage front

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9 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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